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Malik Prem Prakash Kapur, a wealthy farmer and land owner, migrated from Pakistan Punjab in 1947 and settled in Meerut. Given lands in compensation against those he left behind in Pakistan, he began with farming, built a brick kiln, operated trucks and eventually bought land in a newly laid out colony, to build a house for his family of a wife, one son and a daughter.
In 1966, my father bought the house built next to Malik Saab, as he was called, and our families became neighbours, sharing a low common wall between our homes, over which my mother and Mrs. Kapur could chat and across which I and my siblings could jump over. Malik was an honorific, used for the wealthy land owner or zamindar and Malik Saab and his wife were Uncle and Auntie to me, his son Randhir was Bubble bhai and his daughter Madhu, Bubbly Di, both being elder to me by some years. Randhir went to IIT Delhi to study Metallurgy and started a foundry fabricating castings for the Railways. Madhu married a businessman from Ahmedabad and taught there in a school. Both regrettably, have passed away by now.
Malik Saab would dress up in a lounge suit or pathan suit with salwar and kameez every evening, but with both, he would wear his starched, white pagree, with a tall turra on the side and a flowing tail he kept over his left shoulder. He would dress up, wax his moustache into upturned pointed ends and stride out to meet up with some or the other neighbour, to gupshup over a cup of tea with them. As a result, he knew every family in our colony, including how many siblings each resident had, in which cities they lived and how many children each had...
But through all this, Malik Saab never lost contact with his village in Pakistan. He was constantly reading or writing letters in Urdu, to the folks he had left behind in his village. I would occasionally visit him and listen to the stories of his childhood in Pakistan. Every two years Malik Saab would travel to his village in Pakistan, to refresh his ties.
One day he received a letter which disturbed him enough to actually book a call to Pakistan, wait the whole day for it to fructify, before he spoke to the person on the other side and told him that he would come soon, but to not do anything rash till he landed up. He then asked to speak with another person and said the same to him. Seeing his consternation, I asked him what the matter was and he told me there was a property dispute between the two sons of a late friend of his and they both wanted him to mediate.
On his next visit to his old village, Malik Saab sat as mediator between the two brothers, watched by their families and some villagers and divided their property to their satisfaction. That was the beginning of an informal disputes court in a village in Pakistan, through the 70s and 80s, presided over by Malik Prem Prakash Kapur from Meerut, India. People would keep disputes in abeyance for up to two years, waiting for Malik Saab's next visit. Over the years, Malik Saab would have settled over two dozen property and marriage disputes...
Malik Saab died about two decades ago. And with him died some powerful, even if tenuous, bonds between two nations, born of the same civilization, but artificially at war with each other...
And one response by Suresh Maneshinde
Continuation of that story : Someone posted this as response.
Rajiv ,,,Mr jadhav a central excise offr found a small girl in poona station in 1947 ,she was loitering aimlessly, conversation yielded no details ,she spoke chaste Hindi or Urdu ,* Mr Jadhav lodged a report at nearby police chowky and station master and brought the child to Dharwar and educated her along with Aruna his daughter ,as she grew up he contacted Muslim clergy and imparted Muslim customs and scripts as he felt she was a Muslim.during his daughter,'s wedding this lady called Manju was married to a known Muslim boy also working for Central Excise and Customs ,,,,,,,,,,,life moved on ,. In 78_79 a neighbor of Manju sent his daughter to Meerut for Nursing college , There this neighbours child came across a family who had a baby,'s photos similar to Manju's face cut ,across 2-3 yrs of conversation s and visits ,the old family in Meerut came to Dharwar and met Manju and Mr Jadhav who had preserved the baby's clothes which confirmed the story ,. ,,,,,,,, Everyone was happy with the Reunion but with strong dismay ,,,??????!!!!!!!!!!!? The family from Meerut we're v v v Rich affluent Hindus and we're dismayed to meet their Muslim daughter ..... Life goes on ... vintage inspire formal collections